Transaction v. Transformation; the difference between cheap and meaningful interactions

“That’ll be $12.05”, said the cashier to me for my groceries. I reached in my wallet, pulled out my debit card and handed it over. Here I was, in a supermarket I had come to for years and the same cashier that knew my face just look through me like a transaction to be made. As he swiped my card and bagged my groceries, I said to him, “How are you doing today?” He looked up at me and said “Good.” I nodded my head, picked up my bag of groceries and exited the store. 

A few days later at my favorite cafe: “I’ll have the spinach salad without bacon and a soup please”, I said to the cashier. “That salad has eggs in it, is that ok?” the cashier said. “Yes, that’s fine”, I say back to her feeling pleasant about our interaction. The cashier paid attention to me as I spoke and took note of any diet restrictions I might have. In short, she cared.

Why do I tell you these stories?

In the first story, as a customer I left the store feeling unseen and undervalued. As a person, I left feeling discontent and nothingness. Whereas, in the cafe, the interaction with the cashier felt more enjoyable and meaningful. Some businesses just see their customers as a transaction whereas others see customers as an opportunity to connect and build relationships. 

Now, I have been told that I can be ‘too nice’ and I do understand that I live in New York City where everyone won’t always get the whole ‘nice’ thing. But really, it’s not about being nice. It’s about making connections and interacting with each other in a meaningful way.  To come out of our own world and engage with others in a way that is impactful.

We’ve all heard the standard conversation at work when you come in on Monday and you’re co-worker asks “how was your weekend?”  You reply something like “fine” or “it was good” say a few other words and the conversation ends. Or worse, you get this question while the person is walking away from you half listening because they’re not really expecting a detailed response.

Hey, I get it. We all have places to go and other things to do. But when did we stop putting a value on human connection and start being so transactional with each other?

Let’s do better.

When your words, actions, or behavior become transactional, you miss out on a bigger opportunity to create something lasting, make an impact on someone, and develop deeper relationships. You are here on this earth to make a transformation within yourself and for others.

This also goes for your career or any investments you make in your personal development. Never trade your time for a paycheck but rather seek work that allows you to share your unique value and create positive change.  Whether you hire a personal trainer or work with a coach, look for someone who won’t just give you a quick transactional result but someone who will help you create real transformational change.

Keep me posted on how it goes…

PS The Momentum Club is starting up soon! It will be a transformational experience for your career that you won't want to miss. Click HERE for details and to reserve your spot!

Photo credit